Skip to main content

tv   News  Al Jazeera  December 4, 2013 2:00am-2:31am EST

2:00 am
nyberglinda nyberg >> the commuter train crash investigation is focused on the engineer. there's information that he may have been asleep at the switch before the train went off the rails. a federal judge green lights detroit's bankruptcy plan, allowing the city to cut pension plans. joe biden - safety in the sky, a dispute between china and japan. and a report says yasser arafat was not poisoned by radioactive polonium. it it disputes findings that there were high levels of the
2:01 am
chemical in his body. >> hello, welcome to al jazeera america. i'm thomas draiton, good to have you with us. we are learning about the man at the controls when a speeding commuter train derailed in new york city, killing four and injuring dozens more. the engineer was in a daze at the time. lisa stark has more on the investigation. >> the national transportation safety board wouldn't say what condition the engineer may have been in prior to the tragedy, but found no indications of mechanic call problems. the brakes on the train, that barrelled along at 80 miles per hour, the breaks were tested before the run began, and worked fine at all the stops before the
2:02 am
accident. here is board member earl weener. >> based on this data, there's no indication that the brakes were not functioning. >> rockerfeller was on the fifth day of a nine hour shift. the ntsb said he should have had plenty of time to get sleep before starting up at 5am on a train run. another issue is positive train control or ptc. it's a system to would allow a computer system to take hold of the train to stop or slow it if the engineer fails to act in a dangerous situation. it may have made a difference here. the mta which operates the metro north line says it budgeted $600 million for positive train control, started to work on it, but it said it and many other
2:03 am
rail roads will not meet the mandated deadlines to have the system installed. the m.t.s.b. situation continues. back to you. >> lisa stark in washington. the m.t.s.b. dropped the union as a party, saying it violated rules by discussing the investigation with the media. detroit, known as the motor city, can add a new title, the nation's largest bankrupt city. a michigan judge ruled that detroit can enter bankruptcy. it clears the way for cuts in pensions and retirement workers. bond holders face major losses. diane eastabrook has the story. >> orr wants the plan to be as easy as possible.
2:04 am
it's likely everyone will take a financial haircut. >> judge steven rhodes gave the green light to cut pensions, sell city access and cut debts. outside, detroit municipal workers and retirees protested. retiree david sole called it a death sentence. >> our pensions might go on the chopping block. our art institute, our water department may be sold off. >> the judge said bankruptcy may be the only way to breathe new life into detroit given its $18 billion debt. cum bling infrastructure. in his ruling the judge said: >> in a controversial decision
2:05 am
rhodes said retiree pensions could be on the chopping block, saying the state's constitution treats them like any other contract. the union says it will press their case with kevin orr, when he draws up the plan. >> when you are a creditor, you make investment decisions. if you work for the city of new york and you retire, and someonisomeon someonisomeon "sorry didn't mean it." orr promised to work with the union. >> i can tell them that the reality is there's not enough money to address the situation, no matter what we do. >> asmi has filed an appeal. others could follow. >> legal experts say the ruling is unlikely to prompt a rush of
2:06 am
bankruptcy filings, but gives more leverage in pension negotiations. lawmakers take action, trying to stop the crisis. governor pat quinn says he's sign a bill. unions are threatening to sue. the pension system has an unfunded liability of $100 billion. chicago mayor says ill has serious debt problems, saying: >> vice president joe biden is now in china, the second stop on his trip to the far east. he plans to talk with chinese official's confrontation with japan. both claim a group of islands.
2:07 am
china declared its air defense zone includes the air space over them. biden made it clear that the dispute is an international concern. >> we, the united states, are deeply concerned by the attempt to unilaterally change the status quo in the east china sea. >> before joe biden arrived defense officials issued a statement reaffirming china's claim on the area. >> protesters in thailand are cleaning up the mess from demonstrations. helping to tidy the street before the king's birthday. demonstrators would suspend their protest out of respect for the king, but would resume after ceremonies honouring him. they want the prime minister to resign. protesters in ukraine are threatening to tighten the blockade around government buildings. they are occupying a key plaza in the capital. the demonstrators are persisting
2:08 am
after a no confidence vote in the current government failed. we have this report from kiev. >> this was the day when the crowds marched from independence square to ukraine's parliament. this is what stopped them. if the protesters thought the police had abandoned the streets of central kiev, they were forced to think again. the crowd waited in the street outside parliament and sung the national anthem. [ singing ] [ cheering ] (clapping) >> inside, things were getting heated. opposition members demanded that the government resign. >> translation: this is a stolen country. it has been stolen by viktor yanukovych and your disgraceful party of region. you are splitting the country. >> when it came to the vote, the opposition didn't have the
2:09 am
numbers. the government survived the motion of no confidence. amidst the drama president viktor yanukovych left the country on a scheduled trip to china. before going he said he was in favour of the peaceful protests, but everyone should stay calm. even in the capital the president does have his supporters. although not many, judging by the turn-out of this pro-government rally. onstage a retired army officer said no to coups and thanked the police for keeping order in kiev. the bigger crowds are here in independence square, where many protesters return in the evening after the parliament voted. >> the crowds have settled in for another cold night in independence square. what strikes me is the air of permanens. volunteers have brought food and hot drinks, and take a look at
2:10 am
the barricades. they have been built up again, and at the very top there are now strands of barbed wire. it would take a major effort for anyone to force their way into the square. >> government and opposition are now entrenched in their positions. neither is ready to back down. this could be a long struggle. secretary of state john kerry is urging the ukrainian government to listen to its people. john kerry is skipping a trip to the ukraine. he's disappointed that the government chose to distance itself from the e.u. looking to reverse weeks of bad publicity about the healthcare site president obama ask the people to ignore the republicans root are to the affordable care act to fail. >> i always said i would work
2:11 am
with anyone to implement this law. if you have good ideas, bring them to me. let's go. but we are not repealing it as long as i'm president. [ clapping ] >> >> the president's speech kicked off the administration's three week inspirational campaign about healthcare reform, sign up for individuals who want coverage next year, is the 23rd. hello, we are looking at dangerous conditions on the road in terms of the northern plains and the border states. look at the know on the radar summary. this is causing a problem because it's accumulating as well as the visibilities are coming down. across the north-west we don't expect the snow it linger. we did a snow earlier.
2:12 am
that was across washington, down to nevada, fading out. our focus will be over here towards the east over the next day. still cool across parts of seattle. not a lot of rain or snow. it's the cooler temperatures going below freezing every night. looks like saturday will bet the coldest day. we had rain pushing across parts of california, utah and snow - of course, the higher elevati s elevations. it will be nice across los angeles. 62 degrees. dipping down. the rain is coming back into play, expecting that to last a day. then i told you about the mini heatwave in texas. dallas, you are expecting 83 degrees. there's a cold front separating you and oklahoma city, and you can see the big temperature change. oklahoma seeing 48 degrees there. over here towards the south-east - showers pushing across not very heavy at times, warmer conditions across the
2:13 am
south, warming up for atlanta at 70 degrees. a little rain coming in. it will linger wednesday, thursday and friday. not coming into saturday, and a drop of temperature of 58 degrees. . insight into a deadly school shooting. why the 911 tapes of the sandy hook mass anger are being released after a long fight to keep them quiet. questions about the death of yasser arafat, a new report disputing now he was claimed. how schools are using technology to help students overcome severe disabilities to gain an education.
2:14 am
2:15 am
>> welcome back, recordings of calls made to 911 during the sandy hook massacre will be made
2:16 am
public on wednesday afternoon. a connecticut judge ruled they should be released. officials in newtown opposed the ruling. 20 children and six adults from killed on december 14th, 2012, when adam lanza opened fire in the school. a report says yasser arafat was not poisoned by radio active polonium, contradicting research by swiss scientists. they said they found high levels of the radioactive substance in the man's body. randall pinkston reports. >> in death as in life yasser arafat is a lightening rod for controversy. nine years after his burial forensic experts in france concluded that yasser arafat was not the victim of polonium poisoning. that contradicts findings by
2:17 am
swiss findings and supported the death by polonium 210. >> the french team found traces of poll ownium, but it was naturally caused. >> translation: you can imagine to what extent i'm upset by the contradictions. what would one think. >> an al jazeera documentary reported that a swiss scientist found high levels of polonium in blood and your in samples retrieved from clothing. yasser arafat's widow requested on inquiry, leading to the exhumation of his body, eight years after his death. 60 tissue samples were collected and distributed to scientists. last month swiss scientists reported a likelihood that arafat was poisoned.
2:18 am
they are characteristic of him having a dose of polonium before he died. they say levels are about 36 times what you would expect in a normal person. >> according to palestine officials russian scientists reported the role of polonium was inconclusive. a report in france found the polonium found in the tissue may have come from naturally occurring gases in soil surrounding the time. >> arafat died in a french hospital. the official cause of death was listed as a massive stroke. french doctors said they were unable to determine what caused his illness. we are receiving reports that a senior hezbollah commander has been killed outside his home in beirut hezbollah is a powerful organization in lebanon. the u.s.-led hezbollah is list
2:19 am
said as a terrorist organization. >> it was supposed to be a routine mission to recover sunken bodies from a ship, and then this happened. >> he's alive. >> he's aleave. >> >> that's the cook's ship being rescued. he spent three days under water with no food. he survived by breathing in an air bubble in drinking soda. the boat overturned in nigeria. 11 others died. >> an underwater discovery of a different sort. a 400 foot long megasubways found on the sea floor near hawaii. it was one of five that met a fate sunk by the u.s. military. >> american students are falling behind the global classroom according to international test results. east asia is on the rise. shanghai performed the best.
2:20 am
singapore, hong kong, south korea scored high. the education secretary said the u.s. results are a picture of stagnation. the test was given to 15-year-old's. >> 16% of the population live with disabilities. for children, learning can be difficult if they can't see, hear or speak. some schools are using new technology to help them learn. we visited a school in new york that specialises in educating thing with severe disability. >> children come to henry advice cardy school from all over new york. chris is on his way to earning a high school diploma. >> it taught me a lot since i
2:21 am
came here. telling me there are no limits. >> this confidence is in large part thanks to technology like this. >> do you remember how to do that? >> no. >> it's helping 180 students with severe disabilities here, who might otherwise not be able to study. >> i know what i want. i don't let anyone stop me. >> 20-year-old chelsea cannot speak through her mouth. this tool let's her communicate which using her eyes. >> now using i gaz, when you don't have movement, you have access to technology. >> happy. so happy. >> around 8% of children under age 15 in the u.s. are considered disabled. half of them are severely disabled. under federal law all children with disabilities have a right to free education and an environment that meets their need. new york state pays 77,000.
2:22 am
a good part of that goes to technology. >> in this maths class the teacher is using a headset communicating with children who have trouble hearing. this student is using a dynabox. it helps to prepare kids for life beyond the halls. >> some question whether segregated schools can get students ready for life in the adulls world. >> for most of us we don't live in a segregated adult world, you have to interact with individuals who don't have disabilities. >> richard says the vicard. >> school prepared him plenty, he's now in college, the only one of a set of triplets living away from home. >> it would be difficult to adapt. >> chris sees viscardi as a path to college.
2:23 am
>> i want to study biology. >> he has the power, he says, like everyone else to reach for his dreams. >> the u.n. marked the 21st international day of persons with disabilities on thursday. new numbers that show j.c. penneys' efforts to bounce back are working. safety you can't see - new device offered to direct bicyclists in accidents. looks can be deceiving, a picture of davonte freman, that isn't a photograph.
2:24 am
2:25 am
welcome back. taking a look at business. aggressive discounts paying off for american automakers in november. sales climing to their highest levels in six years.
2:26 am
chrysler raised by 6% because of the jeroke. ford up 7%. the fusion and f-series trucks leading the way. j.c. penney's turn around plan is showing progress. sales rose for a second straight mondays, up 10% from a year ago. shoppers are turning to stores after the company brought back aggressive discounts that ron johnson, the previous ceo, had dropped. the do you closed lower on tuesday. falling 94 points. analysts say investors are worried about pulling back on the federal stimulus. we'll get a picture with a release of the closely watched jobs report. >> it's a growing problem on the streets, people riding bikes without helmets, a pair of
2:27 am
designers are hoping to revolutionize biking safety with fashion. >> cycling is a big part of life in sweden. about 80% of people ride bikes as part of the daily commute and pleasure. only a third wear helmets. i have been following with a cycle. why should you wear a helmet. i crash with a helmet. i cracked into two pieces. rather the helmet than my head. >> when we were kids we learnt to ride a bike and never used a helmet. >> two industrial design students decided to create a helmet that people would want to wear. the hovding was born, mixing high tech with fashion. >> they went to something discrete. something better with style, and not interfere with the health style or van itty issues.
2:28 am
>> the hovding is wrapped around your neck, you zip it up and activate it. now i'm fully protected and ready to ride. >> the colour has senses, analysing movement patterns 200 times a second to determine when a cyclist is in a real crash. when it happens an air bag deploys, wrapping around the head and neck. 300 sustain head injuries in cycling accidents. road safety experts say any initiative a welcome. >> in sweden we have, like, 20 to 30 killed every year. it's worrying. we are working now to increase. >> once it is beployed it can't be reused. as $540 a piece, some see it as
2:29 am
an expensive investment. >> but these innovators hope it will become part of a uniform, turning bike safety on its head. >> according to the institute for highways safety, 75% of adults killed were not wearing head protection. no u.s. state requires adults to wear helmets while cycling. >> take a look at this picture of morgan frooeman. it was created with an ipad and finger. it took kyle lambert sofr 200 hours to create the image. >> that's it for this edation. i'm thomas draiton in new york. you can catch us by logging on to for the latest
2:30 am
headlines. thanks for watching. see you again at 4am eastern. >> hi, i'm lisa fletcher, and you're in "the stream." it's a major buzz kill that impacts us all. why are so many bees dying, and what's being done to help the hives survive. so the next time you're eating, think about this. every third bite of food can be traced back to bees. the typy insects produce more than just honey. bees help to pollinate 98% of flowers and crops. they're an integral part of the